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En3my

3d game programming books?

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Hi all, After playing around with DirectDraw for quite a while I think it''s about time I give 3D programming a try. Since Prima Tech have been publishing a whole lot of game programming books lately, I am thinking of buying one of their 3D related books. I have got Isometric Game Programming and Multi-Player Game Programming and I am more than happy with both, but I could use advice regarding which book to buy next. I have three titles in mind; The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming, Beginning Direct3D Game Programming or OpenGL Game Programming... Anyone got these books? Any recommendations?

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other people may differ with me, but I think before you set your heart on an api, you should learn 3d basics. I would recomend 'The Black Art of 3D Game Programming'. The book was published in 95, but the theory is still great. That's just my opinion, you obviously don't have to do this.

edit-I need a spell checker


How many Microsoft employees does it take to screw in a light bulb?
None, they just declare drakness as a new standard.

Edited by - Julio on August 4, 2001 6:14:11 PM

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I agree with Julio. The first 3D book I read was 3D Graphics Programming: Games and Beyond, by Sergei Savchenko. It's only about $30 (good for a programming book) and it covers 3D theory well. The only problem with it is that there are a rather disconcerting number of typos in the text and in some of the equation derivations.. But still, I would recommend it as being relatively inexpensive, short, and to the point. As long as you go over some of the math yourself, you'll still understand well.

After this, I read OpenGL Game Programming (the Prima one, by Kevin and Dave from this site), and while that book is very well written (and I would recommend it as well), it's written to be about the API with only into-level 3d graphics theory, because there's no way they could have covered all they did about OGL and general 3D game programming as well as all the theory and math covered in other books. The Savchenko book, even for its shortcomings, really helped to quickly put some sections of the second book into perspective.

So yeah, I agree with Julio. You can't fully understand the API until you understand at least a little bit about what's going on under the hood, and 3D graphics programming is something you'll want to understand as completely as possible if you want to understand it at all.

Good luck.

Edited by - Qoy on August 5, 2001 3:37:11 AM

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I have the same problem as En3my, looking for a good 3D-book. Does someone know when the LaMothe''s next book is coming? He''s the only guy who can teach 3D for a dummy like me.

Press any key to continue or any other key to quit...

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''OpenGL Game Programming'' is the best book.

It covers OpenGL, directinput, directsound and they also build a 3d engine at the end of the book. Best buy. Get it. It''s from the Staff at GDnet and Nehe does the code; how can you go wrong?

Hope it helps

MelvinElvin.

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Last thing I''ve heard concerning LaMothe''s upcoming book is that it will be available in the end of the year. It will be software 3D theory only, using DirectGraphics. You guys are probably right about learning 3D basics first, before learning how to use a particular api. I will check out Savchenko''s book. I recall that "The Black Art of 3D Game Programming" can be found somewhere on the net, but I forgot. Anyone please? Other recommendations?

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i probably need a good math primer as well... included in any of the books mentioned above, or are there any other books out there?

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Assuming you already know calculous, I''ve found myself referencing these books that I have:

"Elementrary Linear Algebra" by Anotn & Rorres
"Differential Equations" by Zill & Cullen
"Advanced Engineering Math" by Wylie & Barrett

"3D Game Engine Design" by David H. Eberly was a good book to ramp up from, "Ok I got stuff on the screen, and can move around" to "What does it take to make this look real".\

I referenced those other books to review techniques used in "3D Game Engine Design", you may be able to find other sources for things like Jacobian matrices, or a 4th order Runge-Kutta ODE solver, etc...

Next, is FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and/or RBD (Rigid Body Dynamics) to deal with what happens once two objects collide. "3D Game Engine Design'' will take you to that point.

Magmai Kai Holmlor
- Not For Rent

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I''m sure this one is well known....but i''m working from lamothe''s tricks of the windows game programming gurus, it''s amazing so far.

The prima techs are all put out thru lamothe and basically an extension of his previous books.

btw, i work at a bookstore and haven''t noticed anything really too new coming in, in this area...an area i''m really interested in...but if i see something good i''ll post it up!


commando_337

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I was going to post this question in a separate thread, but it''s related. Between 3D Game Engine Design and Real Time Rendering, which would you recommend? Both books seem to cover the same stuff (I flipped through them in the book store), but I still don''t know which covers it better.

As for advice on books, although I think that the Prima Tech books are okay for beginners, I''m really not a fan of them. I understand why people (at least hobbyist game programmers) like them so much, unlike some of the more complex books (which are mostly theory) these books deal almost completely with code samples, and giving you an exact way of doing something. The upcoming book that teaches C++, Win32 and game programming all in one is probably the best example of this. They read like internet tutorials, which isn''t necessarily a bad thing, it''s just why pay for something you can get for free .

Still, if you''re looking for books, it may be a better idea to get an OpenGL book, and an advanced game programming book (like 3D Engine Design), and read the tutorials around the web (you can find tons of tutorials and links here, and on flipcode, just in case you didn''t know .)

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I would definitely recommend learning ''software'' 3D programming before trying to learn a 3D API like D3D or OpenGL. For me it made picking up D3D a whole lot easier.

''Black Art of 3D Game Programming'' is indeed an excellent place to start with software 3D, as is ''Building a 3D Game engine in C++" by Brian Hook. Both books are for DOS, but it is trivial to port the code into DirectDraw.

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